Saturday 24 December 2022

Wrought on the Levels

The ancient craft of basket making is the inspiration for this textile piece. It celebrates a willow weaving process that starts in the land and is wrought into attractive functional items in the skilful hands of workers in my home area on the wetland 'levels' of Sedgemoor in Somerset.

Sketchbook drawings with wet marks printed on opposite page to reflect the repeating character of the wetland landscape.

A few trial samples incorporating willow sticks grown locally for basket making. 

The willow sticks are interwoven into dyed linen strips with areas of withdrawn weft threads. 

First stages of making the resolved 'Wrought on the Levels' construction, withdrawing threads from large areas of painted linen scrim fabric.

The large swathes of fabric represent the swaying rows of withies growing in the field ready for harvesting.

The large curved forms of painted linen: with wide areas of withdrawn weft threads. Willow sticks are interwoven through the weave, helping to define the curved forms.

A separate part of the construction show sprouting withies in test-tubes, supported by a long strip of linen fabric, interwoven with small willow sticks.

A series of experimental willow constructions placed as 'rough sketches' as if resulting from the growing withies.

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